EdTech 10: Unabiding the Slide

It’s official, June is here. As educators recognize end of school signs, and as principals reflect with staff, this time of year couldn’t be more important for students. Past National Principal of Year, Trevor Greene, recently said this is when students deserve the best from educators.

This is the time of year when students are at the top of “Summer Slide” looking down at 2+ months of potential learning loss (stay tuned in, we’ll soon be sharing resources for teachers and students to fight the slide). Thankfully, for leaders in EdTech the end of the school year hasn’t slowed progress in developing new learning opportunities, platforms, and partnerships that will move the needle in the summer months.

Blended Schools & Tools

1. Permission slips not required. We’ve been talking, and talking and talking about virtual field trips for a long time. That’s why we were elated when we learned that Google would be joining the space with Expeditions. The app comes with a kit that includes headsets for students and teachers, and provides educators with flexibility in choosing virtual destinations.

2. SHHhhhhh. Amazon launched an update to Whispercast, now Whispercast 3.0. Originally launched in 2012, the free content delivery platform is now used in over 130 of the 250 largest school districts, and 24 of the 30 largest universities in the US.


Digital Developments

3. Getting trendy. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Partner Mary Meeker released a deck that everyone in EdTech should bookmark. ‘Internet Trends 2015‘ is a robust curation of market research and online behavior information that builds on the evolving landscape for edupreneurs.  

4. Developing for droid. A six-course Android development nanodegree is now available thanks to a new partnership between Udacity and Google. According to TechCrunch, the idea is to support developers learn how to write Android apps to the point where they could potentially be hired by Google. For more, see our feature on Udacity and learn about how code schools are changing how GenDIY skills up.

5. Under lock and key. As next-gen learning platforms create new systems for managing student data, privacy and security is always in question. Recognizing this is Google, creators of Google Classroom, who is addressing concerns with a new web dashboard that centralizes privacy and security controls for users.  

Dollars & Deals

6. When I’m 65. Online course provider Udemy raised $65 million in funding. The five year old company now says its biggest priority is to continue scaling internationally. For more, check out our feature on Udemy.

7. Student info snapshots.Building a Trusted Environment’ is a new resource from The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) that provides a snapshot of state laws on student data use, privacy and security. For more state-level updates from ExcelinEd, check out these features on Texas, Louisiana, and Michigan.  

Movers, Shakers & Groundbreakers

8. Making moves. KnowledgeWorks is welcoming a new Chief Learning Officer. Virgel Hammonds, current superintendent of RSU 2 School District in Maine and iNACOL Board Member, will join the KnowledgeWorks team to build out competency education tools and services to help districts and schools.

9. Take it from the locals. Implementing Competency Education in K-12 Systems: Insights from Local Leaders is a new report from CompetencyWorks and iNACOL. Based on conversations with district leaders, the report shares their lessons learned from transforming to a competency-based system. Join the webinar on June 2, register here.  

Policy Pieces

Pro-choice. The Silver State is the first in the nation to adopt universal school choice. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill that gives unprecedented control over the selection of schools for parents.

For more EdTech 10s, check out:

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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